How I lost over 80 pounds and how I plan on reaching goal weight.
It has taken me a better part of two years to lose 80 pounds. Now to some that seems very slow and at times I feel that it is. However I believe that this weight loss will last because I took the time to change my habits and make changes that were long term.
First a look at what I did wrong:
At the beginning. I was fat because I ate more and moved less. I don’t think I knew what a calories was and how it affected my body. I just ate what I wanted and when I wanted it. No moderation whatsoever.
When I reached the realization that it was time for a change,I decide to start exercising. I would go for a jog or a walk a few times a week and then skip whenever I did not feel like it. I did not make any changes at all to what I ate. In fact I had no idea how many calories I was eating.
The other mistake I did was also to skip meals. I thought that the less I ate, the more weight I would lose. I did this by mostly skipping breakfast, having a muffin or two for lunch (which I later found out were about 800 calories each) and by the time it was dinner time, I was starving and over eating. It’s no shock that I lost no weight or very little if any.
A did a lot of research and decided that I really needed to count calories in order to get my eating in check. I was completely surprised at how many calories I was eating a day close to 3000. I weighed myself for the first time and I was schocksd to see the scale almost go all the way. I was a whooping 247 pounds. And this was after I had made some significant changes. I have seen some before pictures of mine and wouldn’t be surprised if I was close to 300lbs.
I started writting down what I ate but later found out from my friend about myfitnesspal.com it’s a great site that tracks your food and activity.
I started running regularly at the gym and tried my hands at some light weightlifting. To make myself go to the gym at my apartment, I would look up what time my favorite shows were on and schedule my gymtime so I could watch them on the treadmill. This would ensure that I was on for an hour or more everynight watching RHONY or some stupid reality show.
By watching my calories and increasing my exercise, I started seeing some changes in my weight. I wasn’t as diligent as I should have been but it was a step in the right direction.
The other major step I took was becoming a vegetarian. I have always admired vegetarians but never had the guts to completely cut out meat. I always thought I would be missing something. I watched food Inc and that was my turing point.
I’m not really a vegetarian that thinks humans weren’t meant to eat meat. I am just opposed to the factory farming techniques used to get meat on our tables and the food industry’s need to make money at the expense of giving us real food.
I also read micheal Polan’s “omnivores dilemma” and “food rules- eat real food, not too much,mostly vegetables.”. I decided to take a more whole foods approach to my diet and started cooking most of my food at home and kept a vegetarian diet. I think this is what made the most impact on my weight loss. Cooking my own food from scratch meant it was healthier and I new the exact amount of calories that went into every meal.
Most of my exercise now included running. I try to get in between 5-10K 5-6 days a week. I have incorporated strength training because unwanted muscles and to be fit and healthy not just thin.
-I count calories (find out bmr and how many calories you need to maintain your weight.) Subtract 500 and use that as your base.
Counting calories takes time and effort but you can make it easier by having staples that you eat regularly and know how many calories are in it. Also having to log your food will make you think twice before putting something in your mouth. One more thing. Be honest with yourself. If you ate it, log it.you can’t lie to your body.
-eat breakfast everyday. Make sure it is protein heavy because this fills you throughout the day.
-follow a protein first diet.this means most of hour calories should come from protein, followed by healthy fats and least on your plate should be carbs. These must be healthy carbs gotten from vegetables, fruits and whole grains. (White will make you fat) stay away from all things white. White flour, pasta, bread etc.
-if hungry between meals, eat a snack but make sure its 100 calories or less.I would keep it to a piece to fruit or some Greek yoghurt which is protein heavy and will keep you full longer.
-try not to skip meals because this can make you over eat at later meals.
-Drink water!!!!!!!!!!. At least half your weight in ounces. As I duke I don’t drink my calories. If a drink has calories stay away or bake it a once in a while treat. This also means juice. Eat the fruit instead. Unless of course its a smoothie and founts as a meal
-exercise is important but I truly believe weight loss is 80% what you eat and how much and 20% exercise.
If you want to lose weight consistently, you must exercise atleast 3-5 times a week. And I mean serious exercise where you sweat and need to push yourself harder to complete.
-consistency is the name of the game.you have to be ready for a change and say no to a lot of things. How badly do you want this?? You have to be in for the long haul. It will take time and patience. Slow and steady wins the race.